Ask Us Anything: Growth Challenges, Marketing Strategies, and Collaborations – RVE #331

In today’s Ask Us Anything episode, the cohosts open up about their journeys of personal growth, sharing intimate insights on how they consistently challenge themselves. Discover how their quest for self-improvement not only enriches their lives but also translates into business success. Plus, they share a few inspirational reads that have shaped their mindset.

They’ll also answer an RVE community member’s question, offering insights into marketing strategies that go beyond social media.

And stick around till the end for a brief discussion into community building and collaborations, where you’ll uncover the secrets to fostering business growth.

Don’t miss out on this winning combination of self-improvement and actionable wisdom!

ask us anything

Ask Us Anything: Personal Growth Challenges, Marketing Strategies Beyond Social Media, and Collaborations – RVE # 331

Your Host: Rose Willard

With Co-hosts Kimberly Crossland and Jim Nelson


RVE Blog Articles:

Challenge Yourself In Life To Sharpen Your Entrepreneurial Skills

On Setting Goals: Insight from 3 Favorite Thought Leaders

Recommended Reading

All It Takes Is A Goal, John Acuff⁠

The Comfort Crisis, Michael Easter

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, Adam Grant

Zombie Loyalists, Peter Shankman

Listen to The RV Entrepreneur Episode #331

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The RV Entrepreneur #331 Full Episode Transcript:

Ask Us Anything: Personal Growth Challenges, Marketing Strategies Beyond Social Media, and Collaborations – RVE #331

RV LIFE: Welcome to the RV Entrepreneur Podcast, the weekly show for nomads, work campers, RV ers and entrepreneurs looking to earn a living or build a business while enjoying the RV lifestyle. This week’s host is Rose Willard. Let’s settle in and enjoy the RV entrepreneur podcast brought to you by RV life.

ROSE WILLARD: Welcome to the RV entrepreneur podcast. I’m Rose Willard, your co host for this week’s Ask Us Anything episode where Kimberly, Jim and I discuss questions solicited from our RV entrepreneur community, as well as any topics we feel that might be helpful to you. So as a pleasure, as always, to share the virtual studio with Jim and Kimberly. And in this episode, I kicked it off with a topic inspired by my latest blog article for the RV entrepreneur, and you can find that article at the RV It focuses on the importance of challenging oneself in life to foster business growth. So in our conversation, it was really enlightening to exchange and learn about how we’re each challenging ourselves physically, socially and mentally. We also addressed a question from our community about marketing strategies beyond the realm of social media, and we briefly touched upon the process and benefits of collaborating with other brands to facilitate business growth. So this episode is packed with valuable information and inspiration, and I think you’ll have some great takeaways from it. And at the end, when you’re all done listening, don’t forget to swing by the RV Entrepreneur Facebook group to pose more questions for our next Ask Us Anything episode. So let’s get to it right after this.

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ROSE WILLARD: We are so happy to be back with you all. For another Ask Us Anything episode of the RV entrepreneur podcast. We are really enjoying recording these episodes for you, discussing questions from our RV entrepreneur community and other fun topics. So I have Jim and Kimberly here with me. Welcome back guys. Thank you.

KIMBERLY: Thank you.

It’s a pleasure to be here. These are always fun.

ROSE WILLARD: So today we’re going to kick things off with a quick discussion that has to do with my latest article on the RV blog about how important it is to challenge yourself personally and sharpen the basic skills needed to keep your RV entrepreneurial journey going strong. And if you haven’t read it yet, you can go back. Check it out at the RV It’s titled Challenge Yourself in Life to sharpen your Entrepreneurial Skills, and I’ll link it in the show notes. So this is about you, not your business. You personally getting out of your comfort zone. What are you doing to challenge yourself physically, mentally, and socially on a regular basis? And not only will this foster your personal growth and development by pushing you to learn, adapt, and evolve, it’s also going to better prepare you for the struggles of entrepreneurship. So you might be thinking, how do I challenge myself? How do I know what to do to challenge myself? Well, ask yourself, where in life are you getting comfortable and complacent that you don’t want to be? What are your blind spots that are affecting your potential? So pick a challenge that you’re curious about that makes you feel a little uncomfortable, but you’re excited about it. So let’s talk about these personal challenges that we can try anywhere. Let’s start with what I feel is the most important the physical challenges, exercising new fitness goals, a new hike, trying new foods, even brushing your teeth with the opposite hand. Uh, so, Kimberly, what do you do physically to challenge yourself regularly?

KIMBERLY: Well, this has recently changed for me. I found myself a year ago, exactly a year ago, a year ago in four days, actually, and I was coming out of having foot surgeries, coming out of anesthesia after a major foot surgery, and was literally taken off my feet for several months. The recovery was quite a bit longer, over double the amount of time before I could actually walk again, and in that time, I started to become grateful for my feet and I missed my feet. But I also became complacent, lost a lot of muscle. Not that I was super fit before, but anytime you’re taking off your feet, then you are obviously losing a lot of muscle, and I, I got comfortable with my routine, my time routine. Now it was a lot harder to fit in the workouts. Now it was a lot harder. And I had all these excuses for why I didn’t go for a run and why I didn’t. And I still don’t love running. I’ll be very frank about that. It’s not my my favorite thing to do, but I also wouldn’t even go get in my home gym. We’ve got our sticks and bricks, we’ve got a home gym. If we’re traveling, we have lots of body weight workouts that we’ll do. And I just was becoming very complacent. Well, it started to really weigh on me where I was like, I am getting out of breath a lot faster than I really want to. I don’t feel as strong as I did before. And so in January, I know, as cliche as it is, I’m okay with the cliche in some senses.

KIMBERLY: I thought I need to work on my physical health. And so what I did was I. I started doing a new workout routine. So I’m right now in the middle of ten weeks to 10-K, and I kind of struggle even to say that because I’m like, now that I’m saying it on a podcast, I have to commit to it even more. So you guys are holding me to it, which is excellent, and I appreciate things like that. But I’m also tracking what I’m eating a lot more. So I’m focusing on being more balanced and not just going in, you know, sneaking a few Girl Scout cookies as delicious as they are. More than a few, if I’m honest. I would do that before, and I’m really focusing on being more intentional about what I’m putting into my body and how I’m using my body. And yesterday I was supposed to run and it was a sprint day and it was very windy. I mean, like we were having one gusts of like 40mph. And right before the run I thought old me. That was not challenging myself to your blog post, Rose, which was so good old me would have just said, ah, it’s windy. I don’t really want to go, but new me decided, no, we’re going to go out there. And I had a tailwind for a lot of the run, which was really nice. I thought, well, this is a benefit of the of the wind. And it was still a challenge. I was still huffing and puffing, but it was great to feel your blood pumping.

ROSE WILLARD: Very, very good. Good for you for recognizing that complacency and wanting to make a change and putting yourself out there publicly too. That’s great. It holds you accountable as well. So congrats for that. I’m really happy for you. Excited for this challenge, Jim. How? How about you?

JIM: Your article really struck home with me because I was in the middle of training for my own personal misogi, which I’d love to get into and explain in more detail. It’s the physical, mental, and social challenge. So if you’re splitting this up, I’d love to hear your thoughts first on on the physical and then I might be able to dive in.

ROSE WILLARD: Sure, sure. So I do exercise on a regular basis. My background was in health and fitness, but lately I’ve found myself getting a little complacent with it and not getting as much out of it anymore. We have a small little home gym area in our home base right now, and my 45 year old body is a little more stiff and achy in places and I would like. So I wanted to get myself out of this funk and try something different and challenge my body in a different way. So in my search, I came across this concept of animal moves and animal flow. It’s it’s a floor based style of body weight training that uses these animal poses like crawling and transitions and like a flow of movement to create this sequence of motion. And it helps to increase mobility and flexibility. And that’s what I really need in my joints right now. So I have challenged myself to do a 30 day animal flow challenge. And I’ve been going through these exercises and routines. There’s a lot on YouTube. I’m just picking some every day to do, and it’s really cool. It’s like an art form and I didn’t know what to expect. I don’t think I really expected it to be that hard, but man, the first couple days it whipped my butt. I just it takes a lot of energy to control your body through that range of motion that you’re not used to, especially when every movement requires that complete control. So it’s really cool. I’m on day like five of it right now, and I can’t believe how good I’m feeling. So much better. Mobility and flexibility already less stiff. And those rhythmic movements, it just it’s a very helps the mind. You know, it’s just very, very good for my mental health as well. So that’s that on to you Jim.

JIM: I’ve heard it as a wilding. So like the bare crawl moves, things like that. And it’s amazing how challenging it can be. Yeah. And like I was saying, your article really struck home because, um, my wife and I, Renee, were challenging ourselves this year by spending winter in Alaska. So that in itself is challenging. Alaska is just challenging, period. With the weather, the distance to anywhere and the physical, the financial, everything’s really challenging up here compared to the default life we were living. We were just becoming too comfortable. And personally, I actually completed my own misogi. So anyone who’s not familiar with the terms the misogi is traditionally it started with Shinto monks. They called it water cleansing. But it’s a personal challenge. It’s where you’re supposed to push your presumed limits, and there are limits, but we can get beyond them. Like the ultra runners out there. You can train physically, and once you’ve got the physicality down, there’s a point where it just becomes all in the mind. That’s how they can run 300 miles. You know, if you can run 50 miles, 20 miles, you can run 100 if you just get it in your mind. So my personal misogi when I came up here, we have run a few marathons. And so we like to do distance running. But there are two rules with the misogi it must be ultimately challenging.

JIM: It actually has to have like a 50% chance of you finishing. So it’s like a 5050 chance if you will even finish. A friend of mine recently did his by traveling to Italy and swimming across a channel. Okay, the second rule is you can’t die. That’s it. But it’s also a very personal thing. So I haven’t shared any of this on social media. And this becomes kind of this social challenging part because it’s all about you and meeting your own challenges. And the idea here is that if you don’t quit when no one’s looking, then you’re more likely to follow through on any public goals you may have. So what was my personal misogi? I knew that I when I came up to Alaska, I wanted to go on a long distance run in the snow. I knew that would be challenging for me and I thought, okay, I could do maybe, maybe a half marathon. I could, I could do a long distance in the snow. And when we first moved here, we got involved with the trail committee and there’s a winter carnival, and they have an annual event called the Sven Eriksson. And I thought, well, what’s that? And it’s where you can either bike fat bike tire or fat tire bike or ski or ski joring where you’re skiing with a dog or run.

JIM: And I thought, that’s it, I’m gonna do that. It turns out it’s a 25 K race, but it’s on snow packed trails. It’s not on the roads. So I knew this was going to be challenging, and I started training for it and I started running on the trails. Alaska is one big swamp, so once everything freezes over. Dig it out there and they groom these trails and you can go forever in the summer. There’s really not many trails because it’s so swampy. But this committee groomed the trails everywhere and it’s packed snow. But then you never know what’s going to happen. So there’s a degree of uncertainty in the misogyny. You never know whether or not you’re going to finish. But I was determined to give it a shot. But since it’s a personal thing in my training for it, I completed it. I did the course on my own personally, and I started before sunup. So there was a there there was an exceptional fear that that’s kind of another rule about the misogyny. You have to be afraid, it has to scare you. And it scared the living daylights up. Me because we have moose and moose will stomp you. You know, bears are not a problem. Moose will not budge, and they will stomp you and they will kill you. And it was dark and it was packed snow.

JIM: So it was an incredibly challenging event. I ran the whole 15.5 miles in my training come the day of the actual event, which was last Sunday, I opted out because I evaluated my limits the morning of the run. When I got in the truck to leave and let it warm up for half an hour, it was -36 degrees, so it was just unsafe in too many ways. Yes, there were a couple people that finished. There was four. There was like 16 people that did it. Four people actually ran it. When they got back. I talked to them. They were chilled to the bone. They were much younger and fitter than me and they had the better gear than me. But I made the call. I knew I had already done the challenge. It wasn’t about getting the patch, even though I did, because I talked to the coordinators and Renee and I are going to go out on a more sane day and run the whole course again, but it was about pushing myself to those limits. So what I did the day after the scheduled event, I did a much shorter route. I did one of the shortcuts and I went out and I ran 10-K on the course. It had warmed up to negative ten degrees, so that was okay, but there was about six inches of fresh snow.

JIM: So I trudged along and I got to points where I thought, okay, I could do this, I could do this whole thing. It’s warmer, but it was very difficult. And at one point on the trail, there was the second moose that kind of clinched it for me. It was too close for comfort and it got to a point. The course goes way out there and I’m in the middle of nowhere. And I just thought, you know what? I could actually survive this and enjoy it. If I cut this to a 10-K in six inches of snow. So that’s how I ended up. Long story short, finishing my own personal misogi. But the social part of it was really interesting. It was all on me because I wasn’t going out there. There’s a lot of other challenges, like Kimberly, you’re saying, okay, now I’m accountable. You put it out there and you become accountable. But it was interesting to think I was doing it myself and not sharing it, and it was all on me. And I kind of failed by not doing the scheduled one, but I had already done it. So, like my quote in my article about goals, Samuel Beckett says fail again, fail better. So you know what? I failed it by reevaluating my goals and surviving.

KIMBERLY: Wow. Well, that was one of the roles, right? You weren’t allowed to die.

KIMBERLY: You’re not allowed to die. It’s got to be challenging. And you can’t die. And you can’t tell anyone about it until you’re done. So I succeeded in my mind. I really see how it translates to business. Because you, another mentor of mine, told me, you know, wash, rinse, repeat. That’s what success is all about. If you didn’t do it quite right one time, you just evaluate the goals. And I was out there trudging through snow and I realized, you know what? I could still have a successful challenge here if I just change the distance. I’ve got six inches of snow I’m running through and I consider it a success.

KIMBERLY: As you should. Yeah.

ROSE WILLARD: You started. You did it. I mean, so what if you changed it up a little bit? You actually, you got out there. I commend you.

JIM: Thank you. So how are you guys challenging yourselves socially? The physical challenge I kind of commented. It’s like it is a mental challenge at some point. But I personally have always been the man behind the scenes in our efforts, and I am trying to get beyond that and be more public facing with our new media endeavors. So that’s been my social challenge to get out there. But what are you guys doing the third part of your article, explain about the social challenge?

ROSE WILLARD: Yeah. So getting out there, I’ve always been very shy and afraid of public speaking, like when I’d have to get up in the front of class in school or college, I would literally be shaking, mouth dry, all that stuff. So this is a constant challenge that I work on, and I’ve challenged myself in many different ways in my life. I was a competitive figure skater who performed in front of hundreds, sometimes thousands of people. I started our YouTube channel back in 2020. I’m just. Myself. I became a podcast host for the show a year ago, so constantly working on it to be better at speaking with others, conversating better, and um, being myself. So it’s an ongoing challenge and something I like to do is I like to ask for feedback, whoever I’ve been speaking with or working with, and that’s asking, what’s one thing, just one thing that I can improve on. And so far it’s been it’s been helpful. It’s been good. So it’s an ongoing challenge. But I push myself a little bit. So Kimberly, how about you?

KIMBERLY: Wow. This is a good question because as entrepreneurs, you know, we’re always told to put yourself out there, put yourself out there. And Jim, when you said you’re working on being more the face of the business, and that’s been a huge stopping point for a lot of people to put themselves out there. One thing that I’ve done is I haven’t not put myself out there, but what I’ve done is I’ve kind of put myself out there in too many places. So what I did recently was I scaled back how I’m showing up online, and that has felt really freeing, actually. So I moved from one of my social accounts. I put up a nine grid, so it’s basically just a static grid of where you can find me. But then I went and I started leaning into my personal brand, and that happened when I became an author. Everyone was tagging my personal account, but I had it on private and I thought, why do I do that? Why have I done that? And hid in this corner of of the world? And I don’t believe you have to share everything with the world. In fact, I think boundaries are very, very healthy. But being able to just be me and share all these aspects of, you know, I share about working out and how much I love, hate the running.

KIMBERLY: And I share about like my pressure canning, which is a new thing that I’ve found. It’s so much easier, by the way, to pressure canned meals. Take those with you. So when you pull into at like 5:00 to a campsite, you don’t have to now get everything out and get everything hooked up. You just dump it in a pot and it got a good meal that you know what you put into it and it’s good, clean ingredients. So I’ve gotten really into that. I do talk about my business because there’s so much overlap between business and personal life, so being able to have it all in one place has been really, really life giving to me, actually. And it’s made. It’s made showing up on social media more fun. There’s just something that I don’t think enough people have is fun with social media, and in doing so, I feel like I’ve found my social voice a little bit better. Like, it just feels like I’m able to be myself and not trying to show up in a specific capacity.

ROSE WILLARD: Now that’s very, very good not to put, you know, put yourself out there, but like you said, you don’t have to do it all. Definitely not. So do we want to get a little into the mental aspect? Jim. You kind of went into that. But uh, maybe we should discuss a little bit more what we’re doing to challenge ourselves. And mentally, you got to keep that brain exercise, keep it sharp. That’s obvious. So I guess I will go and start with the how I challenge myself mentally. And for me, it’s always been learning new skills, whether a lot of it’s hands on, like making something new in the kitchen, learning a new recipe, or that’s a constant for me. But I’ve also been challenging myself to read more books for myself. Like, I read a lot of read aloud books to my kids every day and a lot of technical information, like for our business. But I’ve really been lacking and wanting to read more, you know, self enriching books. So I am challenging myself to read 24 books this year, at least two books a month so far. I’m on track and I’m really enjoying it.

KIMBERLY: Rose, are you reading any book that makes you happy or are you reading? Are you focusing on like self-improvement or fiction books? There’s benefit to all of them.

ROSE WILLARD: Yeah, kind of both. Yeah. And just the latest one is by John Acuff is all it takes as a goal. And I just I really love that book. And he’s cool, I follow him. He’s great media too. He’s just he’s fun, you know, gamifies things, which is awesome. So yeah.

KIMBERLY: That is really fun. Well, I’m actually doing the same, a similar goal. I don’t have a set number of books, but I’m every night focusing on reading, and I don’t go to bed until I’ve read at least a couple of pages of the book, even if I’m exhausted. I’ve committed to reading. Just like you. I read to my kids all the time. Now. I want to be able to carve out that space for the books that are going to fill me up. And also I’ve started to listen to books while I’m running, so I’ve kind of combined the mental and the physical capacity, but I, I love listening. I was listening to a lot of podcasts before and I thought, wait, what am I really listening to? Some of the podcasts weren’t as life giving and inspiring as maybe they should be. A lot of politics and sometimes that can really bring you down, and you want something that’s going to really lean into your mental health a little bit better, maybe especially in an election year when you’re trying to kind of stay away from it. So I found that Spotify now has audiobooks, and so I don’t have to subscribe to some of the other services that I was before, and I was able to consolidate that. This is my sign that I really need to start reading more while I’m running, or when I’m have these pockets of time when I’m pressure canning. I also read with my book on tape, and so that’s been really fun as well.

ROSE WILLARD: Oh that’s perfect. You’re killing two birds with one stone, and all that mental health will carry over into our businesses and make us fresh and ready to tackle those things.

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ROSE WILLARD: So, Jim, did you want to elaborate a little bit more on the mental part for you or.

JIM: Sure, aside from the whole misogi thing, one thing that I tend to do is push my own mental limits by learning more about stuff that will help me do my daily business and that is right comes to play in programming. So I build websites, but I’m not a programmer, so I’m more of a developer than a programmer. So what I’ve been doing lately is turning to AI as a coach, not to have it do work for me, but to help educate me on the actual coding of things so I can get under the hood and fix them if they’re broken. And I’ll google something. If I can’t find out, I’ll turn to AI and I have developed a couple little plugins now that help in the things we do by having AI kind of point me in the right direction. So that’s one way I’m using AI and pushing myself by learning through that. But back to the challenge. The personal challenge thing. One thing we’re talking about books. So I’d love to mention Michael Easter’s comfort crisis. And he really kind of popularized the misogi concept in that book.

JIM: And it’s what kind of set us on the path to get up here to Alaska. So we were just becoming too comfortable in life. And the whole book is about, you know, getting beyond your comfort limits. You got to get out there and be uncomfortable. And he has lots of information in that one. And he followed that up with a book called Scarcity Brain. But currently I’m reading Almost Done with Origins by Adam Grant. So he did the book Give and Take and the origins is all about people who break the mold. People who nonconformists basically is what in the subtitle, you know, people like Martin Luther King Jr and Steve Jobs, but also a manager three levels below Steve Jobs, who challenged Steve on a concept and actually won when it came to a certain business thing. So Origins by Adam Grant is talking about, you know, entrepreneurs, if you ask me, basically those of us who are breaking the mold thinking differently, and he provides all sorts of profiles and tips on how to do that.

KIMBERLY: I was going to say that sounds like RV entrepreneurs for sure.

JIM: Exactly.

ROSE WILLARD: Yes. Yeah. Now, I will say that staying motivated kind of through your self challenge journey can be challenging in itself, but I just wanted to add that I really feel it helps that if you can find some inspiration from people say like in Facebook groups or books or documentaries, people that have accomplished similar challenges or have achieved, you know what you aspire to. They can definitely have a great source of inspiration and guidance. So surround yourself with those people, right? Engage with the like minded and positive individuals who share your passion and it’s contagious.

JIM: So maybe I could get your feedback on something totally related to that. On another note, I haven’t read it yet, but David Goggins, the Navy Seal, the go and do guy, has come out with a new book, and I recently listened to him on a podcast with Andrew Huberman, who’s a brilliant neuroscientist and they get into motivation and inspiration. And, you know, David Goggins is kind of bro mentality and just like, go get it done. Yeah, you got this. He doesn’t believe in motivation. He doesn’t believe in inspiration. It’s just all on you and you just gotta go get it done. And they got to talking about motivation. And Huberman talks about the carrot and the stick and how we all want to go and get the carrot and get rewarded. And that’s motivating. Whereas Goggins says it’s all stick, stick, stick, stick. It all sucks and you just got to get it done. Otherwise it’s going to be. So how do you guys feel about this way? Do you prefer the reward? Chase the reward, get it or avoid the punishment and go and do.

KIMBERLY: Yeah. There’s been a phrase that’s been floating around online recently, especially in the new year, because, you know, January is all about motivation and goal getting. And you know, that mentality of you’re gonna go, go, go. And one of the phrases is choose your hard. And that’s really stood out to me lately about, well, what is hard look like. And I was thinking about this and I realized that hard is really that can be a spectrum. Because what’s hard to me running a 10-K period is hard to me. Whereas gyms over here like, well, I cut it short. I only did 10-K and six inches of snow. No no, no. And but you know what? We’re all we choose what our heart is. And I think that that’s something we can honor and and allow that to be our goal. Like allow that to be what we’re going after. And when you have that vision at the end of the tunnel, the idea of where you’re going and what that’s going to look like, that can be your carrot. And I’m all about having a carrot to chase because it makes the journey more fun. I also believe that you should have fun on the journey.

KIMBERLY: And so, I mean, the stick can be kind of fun, I guess if I’m using his analogy in the right way, but being able to have something to chase should be enjoyable. And when it stops being enjoyable, I don’t think we’re doing it right. When your go go, go all the time, you’re going to hit burnout. I don’t care what you say. There’s plenty of stories of people who have lived that lifestyle and they thought, nope, they’ve reached the physical. You know, we talk about the challenges. It starts to come out physically. And I know Arianna Huffington, she created the Huffington Post. She speaks very openly about this, how she was, you know, burning the candle on both ends and was just go, go, go. I’m going to build this career. I’m going to build this publication. And she reached a point where she said, I need sleep, I need sleep, and it’s healthy for me to get sleep. And so if we continuously just go, go, go and push, push, push, just for the sake of going and pushing, I don’t think it’s going to be a healthy ending for us.

JIM: I do agree and I like I love the feedback there because that’s why I modified my goal when I did go out in the snow the next day. You know, I actually took time to stop and take a couple photos and enjoyed the run as much as I possibly could. I could have done the whole thing, and I could have done it in the 30 degree blow, and I probably wouldn’t have died, but I’d be feeling it. I could have possibly really hurt myself. I could have lost fingers. I could have got stopped my boost. But yeah, I agree. I think the carrot is important. Rose, what do you think about the carrot versus the stick?

ROSE WILLARD: Ah, gosh. Well, I, I like I said, I agree 100%. It has to be fun. I mean, there are times right when okay, this goal I need to get there. It may not be fun, but having a little bit of reward there, that carrot you know, is necessary. Yeah, I agree with both of you guys. It’s got to be fun.

KIMBERLY: This is why we’re such a good team.

JIM: Yeah. And and Kimberly, for the record, I hate running, but I love I do too having had run. So I love the fact when I’m done and I can look back and say, wow, that was fun. And I, you know, I did enjoy that. But in the act of it, no, it’s not fun.

ROSE WILLARD: No. Yeah. No, I.

KIMBERLY: Agree with you. And it is when you get home or you get back to your campsite, or you get back to wherever you are and you feel your lungs breathing and you’re like, oh, man, I feel alive.

ROSE WILLARD: You do feel alive.

KIMBERLY: Yeah, yeah. And that’s what I enjoy.

JIM: And the same applies to business, right? I mean, you launch products, you you market them, you try to sell them. And that kind of is a good segue into the question I had. Rose. Who was that? Oh she’s asking. Yeah.

ROSE WILLARD: That was from that was from Janelle Jones, I believe in the Facebook group. And she says, I’d like help with marketing and advertising. I have done social media and have had some success. What comes after Facebook, TikTok and Instagram? So I think I think, Kimberly, Jim, would you have something good for this?

KIMBERLY: Yeah, I’d love to kick this off. I think that marketing is such a deep subject, the way I like to think about it, especially through this lens that Janelle gave of. I’ve done social media. What comes next? And when you say what comes next, it makes me think of the journey like we were talking about. And the customer’s journey is what comes next. Where are they going on that journey with you? So typically social media is the start of the journey. They stumbled on you, somebody shared your reel with them and now they’re getting to know you like, oh, that’s cool, that’s interesting. I’m compelled by that. But now they want to get deeper into your swirl. They want to know what you have to offer. They want to know who you’re referring because they trust you and they’re getting to know you. That’s where you go from the awareness stage over into the education and the nurturing stage, where you can really teach them who you are, what you stand for, what you offer and why you’re here, why you’re showing up in this way. And so the way that I like to do that, I’m a huge advocate of a couple things. First off, telling your story, and I have a whole course on storytelling marketing because I’m so passionate about how you tell your story and why you tell your story.

KIMBERLY: And the stories are what make us relatable. So you can tell your story on social, but you can then deepen it over on your email marketing, on your blog posts, on your podcasts, some form of evergreen content, cornerstone content where people can go deeper with you. And that’s where I would go next. Janelle I would I would definitely go and start seeing where people can get to know you better and just know more about your offer, whatever type of content you want to offer. Obviously, we have a podcast here, RV entrepreneur. I’m a huge fan of my newsletter slash blog because I like writing. There’s no right or wrong answer. It’s where your customers are and where you like to hang out. And then as you’re doing that marketing, as you’re filling that space, the next question that seems to come up a lot is, what the heck do I talk about? It’s so hard to find something to talk about. What do I share? What do people want to hear? And there’s a lot of ways that you can pull out those stories, and you can find little moments in your world where you can say, this is my morning routine.

KIMBERLY: Or like, Jim, this is Misogi, and this is why I chose to pursue this, or pulling out little stories that you’ve heard something your child said, something that happened to you. The reason why I like stories so much in marketing is because it continues to build that relatability that you’ve already kick started over on Instagram and Facebook, and then you can naturally guide them along the journey into your offers, into buying from you. And you can really make that transaction when it comes time for it. Make it feel good because the person knows you, they know who you’re there supporting. They can relate to you. You feel like a friend and that feels so good to support a friend. We love giving back and we love buying from people we know, like, and trust instead of, you know, I’m not everybody, but a lot of people like to buy from people they know, like and trust and and. Have that value system behind their purchase. And so it’s just a natural way for them to get to know you and then find you on your cornerstone content and then move into your website. And then after the transaction, you can continue to nurture that relationship. And it’s all very circular and keeps coming back around.

ROSE WILLARD: Very, very good. Thank you. Kimberly. Jim, do you have anything to add?

JIM: Oh, sure. That’s all wonderful. And I would actually kind of spin this around instead of saying what comes after X, Y, or Z and say what comes before that. So what comes to mind here is another person who commented in the RB group later recently on Facebook, saying they launched a product and they hired a couple marketing firms and they seemed to waste a lot of money. And well, that can happen if you don’t have a plan. So I think that takes stepping back a bit and having a launch plan for your products, and that includes sales and marketing. So I’ve been in marketing forever and I see it as sales without commission. So you’re still selling, you’re still pitching, but you have to have a plan for where you’re going to market. And yes, social media marketing is one of it. But Kimberly talked about transactional marketing and she’s big into content marketing and storytelling marketing. So I would say evaluate what you’re doing on the platform if you already jumped to those platforms and don’t think about the next platform, think about the next tactics. So one of the best pieces of advice for social media marketing that someone gave me once is be where your customers are. Don’t try to be on every platform. If you’re on Facebook and TikTok and you’re getting good engagement there, then no need to jump over to X or threads or LinkedIn. But you don’t need to be on every single platform. Maybe you can do like we do and automate a couple processes to, you know, just have a face out there and put your brand on Pinterest and LinkedIn.

JIM: And we do that, but we don’t necessarily engage on those platforms. We focus on the platforms that are working well. If we’re getting good engagement on Facebook, that’s where we focus. And then beyond that, I would say once you want to get beyond that social media marketing, the most important thing would do would be to focus on engagement and true engagement. Growing your own community. Once you get people in a niche and all with a similar focus or understanding off of Facebook or whatever platform with all the shiny squirrels and the vitriol that’s, you know, inherent to the platform, you get them on either your own website or your own membership platform or your own email list, and you’re going to find just a much more genuine community engagement among each other. And then that’s what you can foster a group into another book. I’ll mention zombie loyalists. I’ve loved that book for a long time. It’s a relatively old book now, but it’s Peter Shankman and he talks about creating zombie loyalists, and those are your customers who love you and will market for you. So by engaging a community and creating zombie loyalists or, you know, people passionate about what you’re doing, you can step back from the actual marketing and let them speak for you and just nurture that community.

KIMBERLY: Zombie loyalists, I love that.

ROSE WILLARD: I do too, they look at that one. That is awesome. I don’t think there were any other questions in the group. Huh?

JIM: No, not this time.

ROSE WILLARD: Okay. All right. Well, I have one other idea. I don’t know if we have time for it. Talking about the collaborations like community and collaborations, uh, with other content creators. And maybe that’s another way that you can kind of help advertise yourself and kind of get yourself out there and questions. I think of it as how to start a collaboration. Where do you begin? You know, what have we experienced as an advice? I’ll go ahead and start a little bit, because we only have just kind of begun this and we join Facebook groups of similar interests and purpose, and we follow and interact genuinely with individuals that we feel that align with us. Then we tend to reach out to that person or someone, something that you’re working on and see if they would like to be a part of it. And, you know, you say you’re writing a blog article and that would align with something that they have put out there. And it’s been cool. A lot of people are very receptive to that. You just have to ask. And that’s the hardest part, I feel, especially in the beginning with all this. So we’re still fairly new, but it’s working well.

KIMBERLY: I’d love to add on to that actually, because, yeah, one of the big things that I’m doing right now for my sister company, Kristin and Campfires, where I sell Stationeries, I’m doing a lot of reach outs because I want to get into different shops, and through those reach outs, I have my plan. I want them to buy wholesale, and I want them to go on the store shelves. That seems like what you’re supposed to do. But what I found, Rose, to your point, is that I’ve had several people respond back and say, you know what? I’m not offering other products on my store shelves right now, but I’d love to have you come out and be a guest artist. What if we do a giveaway together and there’s been these pockets of collaboration opportunities just popping up and it’s. All because you kick started the conversation. And so like you said, you just have to ask. You just have to put your name out there and say, hey, I’m doing the thing, and I love to see if there’s any way for us to go, you know, together in on this, and we can do something together. You know, the expression, my favorite expression, A rising tide lifts all boats and we can link arms and all come up together and be really, you know, get publicity on each other’s work and, and do it in such an organic and authentic way. And I just I think it’s a really cool approach.

JIM: You know, we really are all in this together. And I look at like the Content Creators group and I look at RV bloggers and such, which I am one, but there’s so many. You really kind of got a niche down, but it brings to mind a concept I learned long ago called Co-opetition. You know, we’re not competitors, we’re cooperating. So one suggestion I have when partnering with others since everyone’s so busy, is to make it easy, have a plan. Instead of saying, hey, let’s collaborate, say, let’s collaborate on this. Here’s my idea and here’s how we can do it and how you can help me and how I can help you, especially when reaching out to strangers. You might want to let them know, well, you know, everyone might think, what’s in it for me? A lot of people tend to think that way. Everyone’s so busy they’re going to spend time, you know, have a plan. This is how we can help each other. Here’s an idea, and we’re not personally doing it with other RV bloggers in that hat I wear. But in the tripods community that I talk about, our three legged dog support community, we’re collaborating with community members and upcoming is March 3rd. That’s three three. And we’ve developed a campaign called Try Day.

JIM: So three is a magic number when you have a three legged dog or cat. So on try day. Every year we collaborate with the community and the public at large and people on social media to get them to share our message and back to making it easy. We’ve created stickers in jiffy, so if you’re on Instagram, you can search tripods and find a Try Day sticker to put on your story. Or we’ve come up with a little concept where it’s a it’s a meme. It’s actually a sign that says, my tri is like my tripod is underscore and let people fill in the blank. So people are taking this, printing it out, filling in the blank and saying, my tri is faster than your four legged dog, or my tri is a canine cancer hero. And they’re taking that. They print it out, they take a picture of it with them and their dog. Some people are doing videos and there’s the collaboration right there. We made it simple for them. We said, this is how you can help, not, hey, let’s work together, but this is what you can actually do, and then spin it off there and ask for ideas back and forth. And that’s collaboration.

ROSE WILLARD: I love it. How creative, Jim.

KIMBERLY: It is so creative. I actually want to add something because I love how you said a lot of people will come into this with what’s in it for me. And I love how what you’re doing is letting them not only answer that question, but then route their identity in your brand a little bit and route their value system and their core, you know, belief system in what you’re doing and in such a fun way. I mean, a way that honors those tri legged dogs, those beautiful three legged dogs. And they can say, yes, I’m part of this community. And it feels really good because it’s a part of them that’s such a I mean, that’s a family member. So that’s a really cool way that they can root themselves in your brand.

ROSE WILLARD: Oh, guys, this is awesome. Uh, well, I think that’s everything we covered a lot today on this Ask Us Anything episode. Is there anything else you guys want to wrap up with before we close?

KIMBERLY: No, I would just say, um, I would suggest that you can ask us anything anytime in the RV community group on Facebook at the RV slash contact. You can leave a voicemail. If you want to remain anonymous, you can send us emails, comment on blog posts, join the group, and get involved because we are all in this together and we can all help each other on this journey and it is one big happy family once you all start collaborating and helping each other. So I think that’s a great idea.

ROSE WILLARD: Yeah. That’s perfect. Love it. Great way to uh, end this episode. So go ahead, check out the website, our groups, everything. It’s so much fun and, you know, share stuff with us. Share your favorite podcast episode, the article, any topic. Yeah. Just say hi. Get together. So thanks guys for tuning in today. And thank you, Jim and Kimberly for hopping on today. Thank you all for being here.

KIMBERLY: Thanks. This is fun.

KIMBERLY: Yes, thanks. We will do it again next time.

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